Avodah Mailing List

Volume 24: Number 78

Mon, 26 Nov 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Simon Montagu" <simon.montagu@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 01:02:30 +0200
Re: [Avodah] Pets

On Nov 26, 2007 10:23 PM, Joshua Meisner <jmeisner@gmail.com> wrote:

> Shu"T Ateres Paz writes ... that if a person's mind will be calmed by [keeping pets], efshar
> l'hakeil.

Not just the mind: a recent study showed that pet owners, especially
of dogs, tend to be healthier.

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Message: 2
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 23:07:49 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Apikores?

RMG writes:
> Why is it so difficult for so many to believe in the concept 
> of Hashgachah Pratis (without getting into if it is correct 
> according to the Mesorah or not)? Is it because of conflicts 
> with Bechirah?

The asking of this question rather suggests that there stands a man who
has never suffered overwhelming personal tragedy, nor been close to
somebody who has.  

A good place to start is a children's cancer ward (or just about
anywhere in a children's hospital really).  Watching the clearly
innocent suffer excrutiating pain, even if it is not somebody you love
or somebody somebody you love, loves, can best give some insight into
the true agony of the concept.  I am not saying there may not be ectasy
as well, but I do not believe that anybody who has experienced or shared
even a fraction of the pain that is out there would not at least
understand why some might not be able to bear such a concept.  And if it
is accepted, it should not be done facilely, but with real knowledge of
its full implications and awareness of the full horrors that are thereby
being directly attributed to G-d.

> KT,



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Message: 3
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 18:18:16 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Hashgacha Pratis

On Nov 26, 2007 2:24 PM, Steven J Scher <sjscher@eiu.edu> wrote:

> I do think that hashgacha pratis conflicts with our human notions of
> bechira.  But, then, the concept of HaShem Himself is in reality
> incomprehensible to our human minds, so why shouldn't this aspect of His
> Being be beyond our understanding.
> - Steve

I heard this d'var torah re: the Asoroh harugei malchus>
The angelds ask "zo sorah, vzo s'charah?"
HKBH asnwers if you do not accept it I will unravel the universe to Tohu
vavohu!  Why?

The stroy is told of a King who entrusted his friend the tailor with a bolt
of expensive material in order to make for him a robe. He cut and tailored a
magnificent robe. Those jealous of him claimed that while the robe is
indeed  beautiful, the tailor had lined his own pockets with "waste"
materials.  The king was upset. He then challenged his friend the tailor to
prove his innocence!  The tailor answered: " I can certainly prove my
innocence by showing that no material was wasted BUT it will necessitate
unraveling the king's robe!"  The king ordered him to do so and the tailor
was able to dis-assemble the robe and re-create the original bolt by pasting
it together piece by piece.

Thus we see the ONLY way to "GET" God's justice is to unroll ALL of history
to the beginning!  But that would undo the entire world!

So that re-inforces my call upon Rabbis [or others!] to refrain from
pontificating about God's judgments because this story clearly illustrates
OUR inadequacies re: Shlavas Resha'im and Yissure Taddikkim. It is beyond
our ken!
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 4
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 01:30:25 +0200
Re: [Avodah] proofs of G-d

R' Arie Folger wrote:
> RZS wrote:
>> You have two choices. Either it's a fact, or he was a liar.  And *that*
>> is a very dangerous position.
> What is the source for either statements, that the Besht studied with A'hayah 
> haShiloni, and the Ari with Eliyahu?
The source that the Besht studied with Achiah haShiloni is from the 
Toldos Yaakov Yosef Parshas Balak page 156. The Baal Shem never made 
such a claim. "Achiah haShiloni who received from Moshe Rabbeinu and he 
was one of those who went out of Egypt and afterwards was a member of 
the beis din of Dovid and he was the teacher of Eliyahu haNavi and the 
teacher of my master [the Baal Shem Tov].

Regarding the Arizal and Eliyahu haNavi - this apparently was a dispute 
between the Gra and the Baal HaTanya. The Baal HaTanya wrote the 
following." ... It is clearly known to us that the Gra does not believe 
in the kabbala of the Arizal in general that it is entire from the mouth 
of Eliyahu  except for a small part which he agrees is from Eliyahu and 
the rest he views as being from the great wisdom of the Arizal. 
Therefore according to the Gra there is no obligation to believe it. 
Furthermore the Gra feels that what is written from the Arizal contains 
many errors. Therefore he feels that he has the right to judge and to 
chose what he thinks is good from what the Arizal says and to decide 
what was said by Eliyahu and what wasn't..." [I believe it is the Igros 
Kodesh #35; this was translated from the quote in R' Eliachs book on the 
Gra volume II page 838 in his chapter on the relationship between the 
Gra and the Arizal]

Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe OH IV #3 page 2) says that the Arizal 
is not considered Kabbala in the sense that the Zohar is and thus the 
rule that in disputes between poskim kabbala decides does not apply to 
the Arizal. I heard from both Rav Zalman Nechmiah Goldberg and Rav Moshe 
Shapiro that this is a reflection of the attitude of the Gra.

R' Chaim Voloshnzer in his writings on the Gra's commentary on Sefer 
Tzeniusa felt it necessary to refute the charge that the Gra did not 
respect the Arizal.

The Sefardim - as represented by Rav Ben Tzion Abbah Shaul state that 
the writings of the Arizal are from Eliyahu and therefore are binding.

Daniel Eidensohn

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Message: 5
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 18:33:17 -0500
Re: [Avodah] proofs of G-d

On Nov 21, 2007 9:30 AM, Eli Turkel <eliturkel@gmail.com> wrote:

> First with regard to RYBS I strongly suggest reading "Out of the
> Whirlwind".
> He in fact strongly condemns those who attribute the Holocaust to sins
> of the people
> as trivializing the actions of the Nazis. More basically finite man
> has no hope of
> understanding an infinite G-d and his ways. Hence, man can only use
> tragedy to
> improve his future but can never understand it.

I did nto read this book, but I learned over time not to take any position
EXPLAINING thecause  of the holocaust
OTOH, I do think we CAN learn lessons from the holocaust

> Chazal has ruach hakodesh which modern day gedolim do not have. However,
> even in Shas various reasons are given for the destruction of the second
> Temple. It is interesting
> that in the story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza the gemara never identifies the
> "guilty"
> parties. In a discussion in our shul various people pointed to virtuallly
> everyone in the
> story including the chachamim to did not protest the shame of bar kamtza
> and also those
> that did not oppose Zercharya and so did not bring the king's korban.

yes indeded. In a shiur on this subejctive the rebbetzin  broke up a group
of haveirim into groups and the conclusion is that there was plenty of lbame
to go around!
Just because the Gmara shteit geshribben that Rav so-and-so says due to X we
lost the Mikdash has anything to do with history! It probably was an
xhortation to better ethics  IMHO it is only our "foolishness" that sees
what Hazal were saying as imperative to BLAME someone! I just think they
were teaching us what NOT To do [like in Acharei mos v'lo Yamus} I
persoanlly do NOT believe that those statemetns were ever intended as
building blocks of our emnau system!

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 6
From: "Kohn, Shalom" <skohn@Sidley.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 17:34:27 -0600
[Avodah] Fables and Lies -- The poem Ayleh Ezke'rah

Various commentators addressed the anachronisms in he poem Ayleh Ezke'raha and whether poetic license impacts on "truth."

The more serious problem in the poem is that it portrays the kohain gadol as lifting the severed head of the nasi and bemoaning his fate.  This is a very dramatic scene.  But --- since a skull causes tuma'at meit, how could the kohain gadol lift the severed head of the nasi?  

There are three possible answers, with only the third (a chiddush) potentially satisfactory:

1.  The event occurred in a tent, so the kohain gadol was tamei anyway.  However, there is no heter for the increase in tumah from ohel to magah, at least according to most views.  

2.  It was a case of meit mitzah.  But the essence of that exception is that a kohain can define himself for a meit mitzvah to bury him.  Clearly, no burying was occurring.

3.  The chiddush -- the reason for meit mitzvah is kavod ha-meit, and in the context, lifting the head was for that purpose and therefore would so qualify, even though no burial is then possible.  I don't have a source for this chiddush, but it is at least an argument.

The more troubling possibility is that the paytan's literary skills exceeded his halachic awareness.  It is also surprising how few people seem to have noticed this problem (as indeed, I had not for several decades!).


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Message: 7
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 18:46:00 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Mindfulness and does Judaism value it

On Nov 23, 2007 11:32 AM, Yonatan Kaganoff <ykaganoff@yahoo.com> wrote:

> 2) Many strains of Buddhist teach the idea of non-Judgementally,
> contemplating the moment and the world and cultivating compassion for all
> suffering creatures.  This aquisition of true compassion can and often does
> lead to acting to relieve suffering in the world.  I believe that
> propotionally, at least as many Western Buddhists as Western Jews are
> involved in relieving suffering in the world.
> (I don't think that this is the forum to discuss the four vows of the
> Buddha, but if anyone wants we can get into that topic.)
> Have a good Shabbos,
> Yonatan

I think the value of non-judmgentalness IS present in Judaism but only in
the ideal state such as
BEFORE the cheit. Then the cheit of Adam was the inception yod'ei Tov voro
meaning judgmentalness.

As such, perhaps on THIS PLANE we as Jews cannot escape judgment. But in
yemos Hasmashiach when we are Returned to Gan Eden Mikdem ["hadeish yameinu
keKEDEM" imho implies that s before the cheit - such lack of judmgentalness
WILL re-emerge.]

Thus we have different planes of madgreigos:

   1. Pre-cheit post Moshiach - we had and wil lbe restpred tot a
   non-judgmental mind
   2. Post cheit-pre-Moshiach we are stuck and mired in yod'ei tov voro,
   And we therefore do Torah and mitzvos on THAT plane choosing TOV over Ra.

 Only perhaps yehchidei segulah can transcend the judgment plane [it appears
from some stories that Hofetz Haim did re: people who stole from him, etc.

Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 8
From: "Richard Wolpoe" <rabbirichwolpoe@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 18:56:23 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Kashrus Question

> On Nov 24, 2007 6:19 PM, Prof. Levine <llevine@stevens.edu> wrote:
> > As is well known, there are rabbis and rabbinical organizations that
> > give supervision to stores owned by non-Jews that are open on
> > Shabbos. Indeed, some of these stores are open 365 days a year. There
> > are a number of Dunkin Donuts stores located throughout the country
> > that are like this.
> >
> > What is the kashrus status of coffee that the gentile store owner
> > brews on Shabbos that a non-observant Jew who comes into the store on
> > Shabbos afternoon drinks?
> Follow up Question:
May one drink the coffee brewed in a hotel lobby on Shabbat - since it was
brewed ion Shabbat pimarily for Genitles?

> > What is the kashrus status of donuts sold during Pesach at such a
> > store?
> Yitzchok Levine
A gentile owned enterprsiee NEVER needs to sell its hametz!  The only issue
it MIGHT have is if it BUYS after Passover  hametz that had been owned by
Jews during the course of Passover!

> >
> > --
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
Please Visit:
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Message: 9
From: T613K@aol.com
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 18:58:20 EST
Re: [Avodah] Fables and Lies

R' Joel Rich writes:

>>  I think the problem is when these are taught as true (or  at
least no mention is made) and then kids (adults) believe them like  the
ikkarim (meaning someone who says "it's a medrash and may not  be
literal" is looked at as a borderline  apikores)

Seldom do I agree with RJR about anything, but I totally agree with  him 
about this.  Declaring people apikorsim for saying that not all  midrashim are 
literally true, results in the production of actual apikorsim who,  having 
discovered that they won't die if they touch the tree, do not believe  there is 
anything wrong with eating the apple.

--Toby  Katz

**************************************Check out AOL's list of 2007's hottest 
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Message: 10
From: "Richard Wolberg" <cantorwolberg@cox.net>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 19:40:47 -0500
[Avodah] Borchu UVoruch Shemo between Borchu and Shmono

Following Boruch she'amar until the amida you are not allowed to answer
boruch hu uvoruch sh'mo. The general rule is that anywhere you are not
allowed to talk, you also are not allowed to say boruch hu uvoruch sh'mo.


Best regards/Kol tuv


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Message: 11
From: Yitzhak Grossman <celejar@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 19:58:16 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Just what ARE the rules of p'sak anyway?

On Sun, 25 Nov 2007 16:18:25 -0000
"Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk> wrote:

> I wrote a bit inelegantly and totally unclearly the other night:
> > Nor should you, it doesn't make sense.  What I realised I had 
> > done in the paragraph was conflate the two kinds of afkinu.  
> > The one that might be able to be used in the case of a frum 
> > couple who seemed to have a perfectly normal marriage until 
> > things go wrong and he starts refusing to give her a get.  
> > And the second of a non frum couple, where it can be shown 
> > that - eg they or he had no intention of keeping taharas 
> > mishpacha.  If such a person then starts refusing to give a 
> > get, there are arguably other weapons in the armory.  I have 
> > not read Rav Moshe's teshuva effectively and in blanket form 
> > annulling Reform and Conservative marriages, but at root that 
> > seems to be a form of afkinu.
> The teshuva I was thinking of but couldn't recall exactly was Iggeros
> Moshe, Even Ha'Ezer chelek 4 siman 13, particularly si'if 4.  See the
> way he dances around afkinu without directly saying it.  But that seems

I don't see any hint here to afke'inhu.

> at root to be what is being done here.  Rav Moshe cannot eliminate the
> possibility that there were kosher witnesses, and while there are all


> the kat arguments, basically what seems to be going on is that the
> wedding has been held in such a way that it is not k'hogan (look at the
> way he uses this term) and in a context that is not k'hogan, and that is
> what makes it invalid.  In a sense, therefore, I think afkinu is

I disagree with your reading; on the contrary, the "she'lo ke'hogen" in
question is apparently a technical infraction of the rules of
kiddushin.  Rav Moshe's basis for the suspicion of "she'lo ke'hogen" is
the "Rabbi's" [the quotes are my rendering of his transliteration of the
non-Hebrew term "Rabbi" into Hebrew] ignorance of or disregard for the
laws of kiddushin, and the example he gives of a possible "she'lo
ke'hogen" is an exchange of rings, yielding an ambiguity over the
intent of the participants as to the actual "ma'aseh kiddushin".  Once
again, I see absolutely no allusion whatsoever to afke'inhu.


> Now I agree it is quite a leap to go from uprooting conservative and
> reform marriages to uprooting Orthodox ones, just where the couple are
> only doing it because that is what is expected, and not because of any
> commitment to Torah.  But it is a lot less of a leap than going from a
> situation such as the DM described.

According to my reading of the responsum, your suggestion is much more
than a leap;  the leniency is totally inapplicable to kiddushin
administered by an Orthodox rabbi [sans quotes / transliteration], who
has presumably overseen that they have been done correctly.


> > > Yitzhak
> Regards
> Chana

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